Anyone Interested in a Fair Isle KAL?


Yes it is. :teehee:


Ingrid…yes, the gods have spoken. I ordered all the yarn this morning, but had to go to three different places to get all I needed. Got one skein from Ebay, some from Webs, and the rest from Jimmy Beans. Guess I’ll be the cow’s tail on this since it seems everyone else will be started before I ever get my yarn.
Maureen…I looked at that pattern again and it does look like the only fair isle portion of that sweater is the edges. I think those flowers would all have to be done intarsia, which is something I’ve never done much of either.
Would I need to get bobbins and wind yarn on them for each of those flower thingys?? That seems like an awful lot of bobbins hanging down. I had to go to their website to print out the graphs, which I did today at work (don’t tell). Whatever…this will be good experience.
I’ve been knitting for years and years, but have never tried fair isle or intarsia. I think it’s time. Glad I have you guys for help if I need it.


My kit arrived today!:cheering: I’m pleased with the Telemark yarn, and I jumped right in. Of course, being me, I’m changing things up a bit. I have thin wrists, so I’m going to do ribbing at the edge of the sleeves rather than the cuff design. I’ll put the cuf pattern above the ribbing.

I’m also starting with the body with the hope of knitting on the sleeves. While I was looking at some of EZ’s patterns, she talked about picking up the sleeve stitches in pattern when the yoke is in pattern to make them match. I’ll give that a shot and see how it works. I’m enjoying it so far, but will probably be sighing and rolling my eyes a lot when I have to do the long stretch of navy stockinette.:teehee:
Sknitter56[/B]–Don’t bother with bobbins. I find that they tend to get caught on each other. I leave a long strand hanging. They will get twisted, but it’s easier to untangle them by pulling out a strand at a time. The King of Intarsia, Kaffe Fasset, suggests this and I like it better than bobbins or winding little balls.


Jan, thanks for the link. I was on that very page at work and it would not load. Tonight, it started playing just fine! :slight_smile: I knit with a color in each hand and I think I could master that technique. I read that if you weave the whole way like that you might end up with a rather stiff fabric. The telemark is already pretty, ahem, sturdy, so I think I’ll use that technique for weaving only when the floats are longer. On a fingering (ye gods!) weight sweater I bet it would be nice though.

Sknitter56, congrats on getting your yarn. Are you using Rowan Felted Tweed? I have only done one intarsia project (and thank god it was felted because my tension was all wonky since I was just learning to knit). I did little miniballs. I have started using the plastic thingy from bread bags (I eat a lot of sandwiches) for the tail of my long tail cast on. I bet you could use those for bobbins and they would work well, if you decide to go that way.

I finally dug out my copy of Vogue and I agree your patternlooks like intarsia for most and stranded for the bottom. Eek!

Ingrid - congrats on getting the yarn! I like the idea of the hemmed cuffs, but there is 3.5" turned under. Technically with the floats there will be 3 layers of knitting on those cuffs. They will really look like “bracelets” as they say in the pattern! I’m still chugging away on the stockinette portion of the first sleeve. I didn’t like how the increases are right on top of each other (K1L, k to end, K1R) so I did K1L, k to one stitch before end, K1R, k1.


Thanks, Ingrid and Maureen. I like the idea about the bread tabs. I should have some of those laying around. I have no idea when I’ll get all the yarn, but maybe I’ll get what I need to at least get started. And, yes…I ordered the Rowan Felted Tweed. But, I don’t think the sweater itself is felted. At least, I don’t think it is. I’ve glanced through the pattern several times and haven’t seen where that’s the case. I think that’s just the name of the yarn.
Just got an email from Jimmy Beans and one of the colors I need is not in stock so there’s going to be a delay. Hmmm…I have a feeling this KAL will be over before I even get started. :stuck_out_tongue: Oh, well…I’ll do what I can and ask lots of questions, I’m sure.
Thanks to both of you for your help!


Yeah, that’s just the name of the yarn. I’ve never used it before but I have heard it is very nice! It will be worth the wait.

If you haven’t done stranded knitting before, you could spend the time till your yarn gets there practicing carrying 2 yarns. I made a Fair Isle dishcloth, LOL! It’s amazing after just a couple of hours of knitting you can really pick it up. I do one in each hand, but you could also do both in your left or both in your right.


I cannot believe my luck! I saw something, somewhere (maybe here) about how to make this thing from old wooden sewing spools, where you attach them together with floral wire, then label them, and run your circulars through the hole to keep up with what size circs you have. Anyway, I put an ad on Freecycle asking if anyone had any of these spools and I got a response from this wonderful lady in Savannah who said she had lots and lots and would be glad to give them to me. I had mentioned what I wanted them for and she wrote back that she, too, was a knitter. She gave me directions to her home and I went by there to pick them up this afternoon and we met. She’s originally from Oregon, but has been living here for 30 years. Her name is Liz and she’s a librarian at the local college, though currently unemployed. She’s been knitting for a long time, and had on this incredible fair isle sweater…and she steeks! and does intarsia! We hit it off immediately. She gave (loaned) me several EZ tapes and EZ’s “Knitting Without Tears” without a second thought and just told me to bring them back whenever. They’re VHS tapes, so I think I’ll have them transferred to DVD so I can watch them as my old VHS tape thing is no longer working. I think I have a new knitting mentor that can help me through this sweater. She showed me all the sweaters she’s done and they are absolutely gorgeous!
I can’t believe my luck!
I’m having a really good feeling about this project.:woot:


I am using Cascade 220 in pink for the backgroung and Noro in a purple colorway for the fiddleheads. I have some light green alpaca silk double knit for the lining.

Sknitter–Congrats on your new friend! How great is that?


Ooh sounds pretty!


Got part of my order today…just one skein that I’d ordered from Ebay. Unfortunately, it’s not one of the colors I need to start. It’s the red (rage is the name of the color) that’s used in the flowers. So…guess I’ll go finish up some socks while I’m waiting.


Sknitter–that’s awesome that you have an expert to draw from. Tell her to join the forum! I’m sure her input would be welcome.

I started the body of the sweater–I’m going to try to knit on the sleeves. After all, that is one of the beauties of steeking. EZ talks about matching up the pattern of the yoke when picking up stitches for the sleeves to make a continuous pattern. I’ll give that a shot, and if it doesn’t work, I can always go the other route.

I now have a billion rows of navy to knit, though. [I] sigh[/I]


Ingrid were you as surprised as I was about the color of the yarn? I thought it looked kind of bright blue or royal blue in the photos and was not expecting navy. I’ve never knit with yarn this dark before! I like the color, though.

I don’t have enough experience to change the pattern much. I wish I did because I would have rather knit on the sleeves. Oh well, I have a good portion of each one done so far so it’s not a huge deal. I actually like the stockinette portions. It’s still very brain-draining for me to knit English! :teehee:

Should I move this discussion to a thread in the KAL group? Or leave it here since we only have a couple of people. What happened to Jan? Are you knitting a stranded project after all? :poke:


I was surprised at the color–I just thought I was inattentive. :teehee: I do like the navy, though, so it’s all good.


I’m here! I sorta forgot about it!:doh: It’s only the 2nd so I’m going to start today!

I moved it to the KAL forum, too. :wink:


Okay…I am knitting the sheep hat. I wish I knew how to keep the floats looser! I am going to rip back and try again I think. I tried knitting inside out and it just keeps going back the correct way. :doh:


I haven’t been doing much knitting (I’m working on stuff for my friend’s wedding instead) but I do have a fair isle sweater OTN. I’m knitting it top-down and making it up as I go along.

Anyway, thought I’d keep an eye on your KAL…


What yarn are you using Jan? Gosh I wish I’d known about that weaving trick when I was making that hat. Mine turned out soooo wonky but my friend didn’t even notice and she loved it. :slight_smile:

I posted a photo of my first sleeve on my blog and a commenter said it looks like the colorwork portion is too tight! :cry: I thought I was doing it pretty loose and was hoping it would block out allright. I think I already posted that photo in this thread.

My gauge for colorowork is 1 st. tighter than stockinette (even TRYING to be loose), and my stockinette gauge is always tight as heck. I have to go up 2 needle sizes most of the time. I guess I’m just TENSE!!!

Welcome Jess! :muah: Aren’t you somewhere super cold? I’m impressed you’re making your own pattern!


I’m using Red Heart Eco Ways. It’s a cotton poly blend and it’s nice to knit with. (The sheep are Encore)

I tried again and this time it came out TOO loose. I’ve done a little fair isle before, but the stitches were close enough together, more traditional, so it wasn’t quite as bad as this has been. If I could knit inside out it would probably stretch the floats enough to make it work, but the rolled edge seems to want to keep flipping back out the correct way. I’ll try yet again, the hat is too cute not to!


Maybe you should try weaving every other stitch like they do @ Philosopher’s wool? I really think that floats longer than 5 sts are pretty challenging/ annoying.

That slubby KP Crayon I was using was the worst, too! :slight_smile: I kept getting irritated because it’s only a FEW ROWS of colorwork! How could it be that bad? But I have had so much better luck using wool! My pregnant friend is vegan so I couldn’t use wool for the hat.

Then again, I guess my current colorwork might be too tight, too. I didn’t think so, though. I’m going to block those “bracelets” over a wine bottle and I bet it will be ok. For the shoulder areas I have started with one size larger needles. That’s size 7!!! I used size 4 for the hems and size 6 for the bottom of the sleeves. (The pattern called for size 4 and 5).


Well at the moment it’s 31, but it is the midwest… so it’s liable to drop to sub-zero at any moment. They’re anticipating a major storm Monday/Tuesday.
I’m a firm believer that anyone can make their own pattern, or do anything else for that matter. You just have to use your own strengths. For some people, the method is obvious. But, what about musical talents? Well, knitting is a rhythm. Think of the colors as different notes and write a symphony! The second rule I have is this: NEVER be afraid to try something new. Having never done it before, or being told that it is hard, is not an excuse to not do it. TAKE RISKS!
IF you do that… you’ll screw up a lot, sure, but you will also learn, do, and create some amazing things.
If anyone is interested in designing their own project but isn’t sure of how to go about it, let me know and I would be happy to guide you through the process.

My knitting starts out tight, but like you, my Fair Isle is even tighter! Part of it is the tension I put on the yarn I’m carrying. Try paying particular attention to that strand and see if that helps.